I’ve browsed some of the posts here and I’ve seen the language “My client has to want it more than I do,” used in a few of the posts. What does this mean, specifically? Why do you use this phrase in particular? It seems to refer to motivation — my client has to be motivated. Do you feel it’s a situation you get trapped in if your client is unmotivated? I think it’s a curious way of saying something and I’d like to understand the concept that this phrase describes. Thanks!
Is this part of client selection? Would you reject a client who doesn’t “want it” enough? How do you as a personal trainer work with a client’s (possibly fluctuating) levels of motivation and commitment to their program and goals?
Hello Karen Mikolainis,
That language means nothing to me and does not exist in my business. I work with just about everyone who contacts me. It is my job to help them reach their goals and keep them moving toward that place. So many times, the client is diverted to a place that means more to them than their original reason for calling me….that is when the sparks start to fly.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
As I think about your question more deeply, I do want to mention that there is a lot that we trainers can do to help motivate. The more we can help a client flesh out the picture of what their physical health would feel like and look like, what possibilities would open themselves, the more they will *sometimes* commit to that goal.
It’s like I have a box of matches. Each match is an idea, an inspiration, a possibility. I hand the client one match at a time. But it is the client who has to strike the match and light the spark. We fan those flames together, but if the client doesn’t fan them when they’re outside my session, the fire WILL go out.
Sometimes, my box of matches doesn’t have the correct match. Another trainer’s matchbox might have the right “match” to light up that person. Some people aren’t ready to strike the match, no matter who gives it to them or what it is.
A trainer cannot manufacture motivation for a client. We can help them tap their own motivations. We can help them restructure their personal beliefs on fitness and health. We educate, guide, and support their efforts. The industry has really evolved over the years. I think some of the wording we are hearing and seeing is the result of media exposure and some of the terminology used by fitness celebrities and fitness experts. Fitness Professionals are attempting to bring these ideas to the public. In doing so, we try to phrase ideas in ways that the public can grasp or has been exposed to already. An effort to capture their attention so we can foucs their energy and thoughts more effectively.
I try to clarify motivation for my clients. In doing this I often need to rephrase, create images, tell a story, etc. When a client comes to me and says “I want …”. I reply saying things like, “If I sold what you want, would you walk in and put your money down to buy it? Well in this store effort is the only form of payment that will get you what you want.” Or, “What you want is buried deep under this gym. How much time will spend you coming in here to dig it out from under us?” This sounds like “pep talk” because it is. I ask them to tell me about times when they had to work hard to get something they “wanted”. Then I use that to help them realize that is the same thing they need to do now. The same energy they need to find now.
There is a lot more to this than I could ever put in a few paragraphs. Does it answer your question? If not, what is missing? What is it that you are still looking for? Where do you think you could look to find more answers? If you want more answers, what are you ready to do to get them? Tick tick tick! Do you get it? www.hawaiifitnessacademycom
As trainers, we certainly want our clients to succeed in reaching their goals. It’s our job to motivate them, educate them, challenge them and be their biggest cheerleader. However, sometimes, we can do everything in our power to try and help our clients achieve their goals–but unless they are in a stage of change to make that happen they will not progress. A client comes to a trainer and is ready to take action, and may find that it takes more work than they are ready for—but there is still much to be gained by training that client.
I personally would never reject a client for not “wanting it enough”. I feel I have something to offer every client that comes my way. I will re-evaluate client goals and break them down into smaller goals along the way–because that keeps clients on point with the specifics of what they really want to achieve. Setting new goals each week may be helpful, or rewarding/celebrating a client for a great day/week can help keep motivation going.
Sometimes, we are the ones to put the spark in their motivation–so I keep encouraging.